Saturday, June 28, 2008

Know the Future, Blog Reader. The GTL Prognosticates.

I want to be first on the record to make these predictions:

1. After leaving office, George W. Bush will become Commissioner of Baseball.

2. He will hold this title until his passing, becoming one of the greatest commissioners since Kennisaw Mountain Landis.

3. Bush will be a far better and more honorable man as the figurehead of Major League Baseball than he was as president. Still corrupt, but better and more honorable, relatively speaking.

It is his calling. His birthright, even. He is dreaming of it already, now, while still in office. Fantasizing about a job he can really enjoy, one with real responsibility - baseball is the national pastime, after all - but without so much hard work, so much thinking.

Mark the time and date. 5:19 PM on Saturday, June 28, 2008.

We're gonna win a prize for this.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Tonic for the Psychotic. The World Holds Its Breath. McCain's Tone-Deaf Symphony.

Hello again, for those readers out there who have been wondering:

Where the Hell has the GTL been?

Out in the wilderness, let's say.

Today I am back pondering the changes afoot in this great nation of ours, and I'm happy.

Today I formally endorse Barack Obama for the presidency of the United States!

The whole world is watching in relieved fascination as our people begin to back away from the angry, bible-thumping, saber-rattling, White Christian Businessman's Variety Show that seemed so attractive in other years and seasons. War psychosis is starting to abate and Americans are appearing human again. Compassion, which isn't something a snickering CEO mouths at us as he works overtime to jam our phones, steal our votes, liquidate our pensions, and foreclose on our homes, is suddenly coursing through the collective circulatory system of the nation again. Suddenly we are able to feel again, to love one another again, and to not hate and fear the rest of the world.

The world sighs with relief.

The world sighs with relief but still wonders, will we make it to next January before the lame (but dangerous) duck starts world war three?

I warned in this site years ago that sooner or later, despite the horrors of nine eleven, three thousand dead would seem a drop in the bucket, and I was right. But despite the fact that the Iraq war has been and remains unnecessary, illegal, cruel, unremittingly bloody, and leaves the Middle East a far more dangerous place for decades to come, it has begun to accomplish something, something vital to our national sanity.

Back then, in the beginning of the war, Americans went out by the millions and bought camo-backed "Wanted: Dead or Alive" playing cards, yellow ribbon magnets, piles of flags we stuck everywhere, all the souvenir pennants of the national football game we were surely going to win, and have fun winning. Iraq II was not only going to be over fast, but we were going to kick Evil's ass, eradicate it from the world forever, come home heroes, and remind everyone who's boss.

The run-up, for those within the psychosis, felt like a grand block party, sold by big business to an eager population for maximum profit. No sacrifices, America. Please. No reflection. This isn't Vietnam. No clammy soul-searching. Go shopping! We'll take care of everything!

The Neocons had it all then; both houses of Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, an enthusiastic and compliant media. The paradise they created when finally given every key to the kingdom is the one we live in now.

Make no mistake: if you wonder what a Right-Wing utopia looks like, look around you. This is it.

It has taken the sacrifice of thousands of young American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to relieve us of the burden of living in their sickness, the violent, greedy, end-times fantasy that, while unleashed with fury on the eleventh of September, 2001, had nevertheless been slowly building in America for years and which reached its blossom, its fruition, its apotheosis, in the morally bankrupt regime of a swaggering man-child president called George W. Bush.

The illness has grown like a psychic tuberculosis. But the symptoms haven't been confined solely to the pursuit of endless war. We saw the willingness of the population to allow the slow killing of the American middle class at the hands of cynical predators, who successfully engineered the de-regulation of industry after industry until our electric bills, pensions, mortgages and debts rose up like jihadist spies in our own homes to kill us.

We've seen a thirty-year frontal assault on American workers so successful in its propaganda that eventually the CEO and the displaced factory worker were voting for the same anti-labor candidates who lined the pockets of one while emptying those of the other, and who took us into a war which continues to shower them with wealth. American workers today, meanwhile, are four times as productive as our grandparents were but a fourth as likely to retire in comfort and security.


Only painful sacrifice can break the psychosis, bring us back to compassion, scrub away cynicism, remind us that we're all human, and how much we need each other.

So that's one reason the Gun-Toting Liberal is grinning today.

I'm also happy because the swift-boating legions won't, to paraphrase Nixon, "have a Clinton to kick around anymore." Obama will be infinitely harder to slander successfully. No blue dresses, no epic excesses, no Big Bill and Shrill Hil. No Whitewater or Lewinsky's daughter (forgive me). Whether or not right-wing astroturf still smells like fresh-mown American grass is another question, but I suspect it won't.

Which brings me to John McCain. (Finally, right? The GTL comes back after seven months of silence and can't stop ranting!)

John McCain's train wreck of a "pre-buttal" speech to Obama's triumphant win last week clearly showed this wax-faced hypocrite's oratorical limitations. More significantly, it was filled with dreadful miscalculations, none more striking than this:

In this historic season, with the political reality of our nation galloping forward by leaps and bounds - a black man as presidential front-runner, a woman close behind in a photo finish, and millions of never-before registered voters coming out of the woodwork - McCain presents himself as the candidate of the future.

Think about that. Obama, he tells us, is nothing new. Same old failed policies. "Bad change." (Yes, he really said that.) Stick with me, America, for "good change" that makes a difference. Keep the Bush tax cuts, the Bush wars, the new "Bush definition" of torture. The Bush wiretapping. The signing statements. The juicy, secret war contracts for old friends. Now that's change we can believe in!

A symphony of wrong notes. A tone-deaf anthem for a "new age" called staying the course.

There's no denying this moment, America. We see it all around us. America is evolving.

George Bush doesn't believe in evolution. Now it appears that, in his effort to package the status quo as the "change we deserve," neither does John McCain.